National

Health Ministry signs MDGs-related
agreement with partners

The Health Ministry and partnering organizations, comprising four civil society groups and six business institutions, signed on Monday a partnership agreement to scale-up progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The signing ceremony took place on the same day as the 48th National Health Day at an event themed “Indonesia Loves Health: Safe Mothers, Healthy Children” on Nov.12.

Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said that the agreement clearly showed that both civil society groups and business institutions were committed to supporting and taking more active roles in health sector

developments in Indonesia, particularly in terms of achieving health-related MDGs.

“The changing development paradigm, which shifts away from ‘working for people’ to ‘working with people’ has given us an awareness that it is important for the government to build successful partnerships with the private and business sectors, civil organizations and other components as well,” Nafsiah said in her speech at the signing ceremony.

Four civil society groups taking part in the partnership are the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), Yayasan Jaringan Pesantren Nusantara (JANNUR), Yayasan Amal Bakti Ibu Indonesia (YABII) and the Islamic Students Association (HMI). Meanwhile, the six business sector partners are PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero), PT Novo Nordisk Indonesia, PT Express Transindo Utama, PT Cisarua Mountain Dairy (Cimory), PT Johnson and Johnson, and the Indonesian Businesswomen Association (IWAPI).

The civil society groups plan to focus their activities on promoting healthy and clean living behaviors in places of worship such as mosques and churches, as well as in schools and pesantren (Islamic boarding schools). Meanwhile, partners from the business sector are responsible for promoting child survival, maternal health, improving people’s nutritional status, HIV/AIDS reduction and non-communicable disease controls.

“It [the partnership] will be quite effective at promoting healthy and clean living behavior in worship places as I’m thinking that worship places are in fact places where people come not only to perform religious rituals, but also for social activities,” said PMI chairman and Indonesia’s former vice president Jusuf Kalla.

Currently, Indonesia has more than 800,000 mosques throughout the country. Every week, around 100 million people gather at mosques at the same time to perform Friday prayers, which is an obligation for

Muslim men.

“There are many people that faithfully attend events in places of worship and I would say that this gives us opportunities to educate people who come to these places on why it is crucial for us to begin

practicing healthy and clean living habits,” said Kalla.(iwa)

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